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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Kane'ohe Bay boat renter dies

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer


A 44-year-old man died after he was pulled unconscious from the ocean near Marine Corps Base Hawai'i at Kane'ohe yesterday afternoon.

The man was reported missing after his rented boat was found motoring in circles with no one aboard in Kane'ohe Bay about 12:30 p.m. yesterday, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Brooksann Anderson. Authorities identified him as Derrick Chang.

"There was a good samaritan vessel in the area, and he noticed a boat running on its own power with no one in it. It was circling around," Anderson said. "He pulled over to see if maybe someone was on board that needed help, and there was no one there."

That boater called the Coast Guard shortly before 1 p.m. and the search began. The fire department and Marine base personnel also took part in the search.

About 1:50 p.m., a Marine lifeguard found an unconscious man in the water near Pyramid Rock. The man was taken to Castle Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The case has been classified as an unattended death, pending the outcome of an autopsy.

The man was a civilian who had rented the boat from the Marine Corps Community Service marina, according to the corps. Only licensed operators are allowed to rent and operate watercraft from the marina, the Marines said.

Anderson said Chang rented the boat at 8 a.m., and it was due back at 4 p.m. She said there was no distress call from the vessel, and no one knew there was any trouble until it was spotted by the passing boater.